Water World: After Nearly 40 years, Peter MacLaggan Leaves a Liquid Legacy

Every time someone turns on the tap in San Diego County, out flows the work of Peter MacLaggan.

MacLaggan was the point man in the construction of the Carlsbad desalination plant, a nearly $1 billion public-private partnership that since 2015 has supplied nearly 10 percent of the potable water consumed in the county.

Desalination relies on the virtually unlimited supply of water in the Pacific Ocean. It provides a safe, reliable source of local water in a region that for many years relied on supplies from hundreds of miles away and was subject to mechanical breakdowns, seasonal shortages and the whims of nature.